GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had opportunities to rally for a second straight walkoff win against the Kane County Cougars. But, Kane County held on for a 4-3 win at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Reggie Golden hit a homer in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie in favor of the visitors.
The teams traded runs in the first inning. Kane County (32-44 overall, 2-8 second half) tallied an unearned run as Wisconsin pitcher Leonard Lorenzo mishandled a grounder back to the mound with two outs to allow a runner from third base to score. Michael Reed started the bottom of the first with a single and was sacrificed to second base by Alfredo Rodriguez. Tyrone Taylor continued his hot hitting with an RBI double to knock in Rodriguez and tie the game.
Taylor's hit moved his current hitting streak to 14 games.
Kane County went back in front with a run in the top of the third. Oliver Zapata singled with one out and the bases loaded to drive in a run for a 2-1 lead.
A quirky hit gave the Timber Rattlers (31-44, 2-8) a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Wisconsin had the bases loaded with two outs and Parker Berberet at the plate. He sent a bouncer back through the middle and the ball hit the second base bag to carom away from the Kane County infielders to score two runs.
But, Wisconsin could not hold the lead.
The Cougars loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh against reliever Harvey Martin, who was making his Timber Rattlers debut. Then, Wilson Contreras singled to left on a 1-2 pitch to drive in the tying run.
Golden gave the Cougars the lead with a leadoff home run in the top of the eighth.
The Timber Rattlers had chances in the eighth and ninth innings. In the eighth, Mike Garza singled with one out and Tyler Roberts drew a walk with two outs. But, Michael Hamann came out of the Cougars bullpen to get the final out, a line drive off the bat of Orlando Arcia that carried right to Zapata in center.
In the ninth, Reed drew a walk to start the inning. Rodriguez went to bunt him to second base and an ill-advised throw to second was very late to give Wisconsin the tying run on second and the winning run on first with no outs. Taylor was asked to sacrifice both runners into scoring position. But, he popped the bunt up and it was caught in foul territory. Victor Roache, who had been robbed on chances for RBI in the first and seventh innings, popped out to left field on the next pitch. That brought Berberet back to the plate.
Berberet and Hamann battled to a full count and beyond as Berberet fouled off three straight 3-2 pitches. But, Hamann prevailed by getting Berberet to chase a high fastball for strike three to end the game.
Rodriguez entered the Midwest League record books with three sacrifice bunts on the day. Several players have had three sacrifice bunts in a Midwest League game, but the last time it happened was when Anthony Sylvestri of Kane County did it on June 29, 1993. Rodriguez had five plate appearances on Sunday with no official at bats. He also walked and was hit by a pitch in the game.
Game three of the five game series is Monday night. Eric Semmelhack (1-4, 4.50) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Kane County will counter with Jose Rosario (0-4, 6.00). Game time is 7:05pm.
Monday is Military Appreciation Night presented by American National Bank - Fox Cities and the Timber Rattlers would like to thank all of the current and former military personnel. Show your military ID and receive a free reserve bleacher seat. Friends and family of military personnel will get a $1 off their ticket as well.
The first 1,000 fans to attend the game will receive a Jonathan Lucroy Bobblehead. The bobblehead features Lucroy wearing the camouflage jersey from the 2012 Military Appreciation game. Timber Rattlers players will wear special "Stars & Stripes" caps during the game. Those caps will be available in a silent auction during the game.
Monday is also a Qdoba Q*Monday with 106.7, The KRUZ. Stop by either Qdoba location in Appleton, purchase a lunch entrée, and receive a free ticket to any Monday Timber Rattlers home game for the remainder of the regular season.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, My NEW32's Sports Showdown will televise the game beginning with the pregame show at 6:30pm. The radio broadcast can be heard on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. Monday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Reggie Golden (3rd, 0 on in 8th inning off
WP: Lendy Castillo (1-5)
LP: Harvey Martin (0-1)
SAVE: Michael Hamman (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.